Every day in Canada we each use around 329 litres of water. That's a lot of water passing through your home and your pipes are vital for transporting it safely.
If something goes wrong with your pipes then your home and personal property could suffer serious damage. In fact, water damage from leaks and floods in Canadian homes makes up 50% of insurance claims nationwide.
Fortunately, when it comes to leaky pipes Courtice there are plenty of things you can do to fix them. Doing this sooner rather than later can stop a small problem from becoming a big issue.
Want to know more about managing pipe leakage in Courtice? Then you've come to the right place! Read on to find out everything you need to know about stopping water leaks and pipe leakage repair.
Common Causes of Pipe Leakage
Your home's pipes see a lot of action on a daily basis and over time this can take its toll. There are several reasons why your pipes may start to leak.
There could be a crack in the seal between your pipes and appliances. These cracks may be a result of poor workmanship or they may happen as the seal becomes brittle with age.
What flows through your pipes can also play a big part in causing leaks. Corrosive liquids travelling along your pipes will weaken them and make them more likely to crack.
Hair, oil and grease, soap, food waste, or toiletry waste can get stuck and build up in your pipework. When this happens the water in the pipe has less room to travel and this can make the pressure inside the pipe build up. This puts a lot of strain on the pipe and makes leaks more likely, especially if something has already weakened your pipework.
If your pipe rapidly changes temperature then this can cause it to weaken. This often depends on what material your pipes are made of.
Other problems that can cause leakages from your pipes include damaged pipe joints, tree roots, and loose water connectors.
While you can do your best to prevent these causes of pipe leakage, it isn't always possible to stop a water leak from happening. Because of this, it's very important that you know how to spot a leaking pipe as soon as possible.
Spotting Leaky Pipes
Spotting a leaking pipe as soon as possible is key to minimizing the damage that it will cause. This can be tricky depending on where your leak occurs. However, there are several signs that you can look out for.
An obvious sign that you have a leak is excess water in places it shouldn't be! You may notice this in different places depending on where your leak is.
For example, if the drainage pipe under your bath is leaking, then this could make the tiles on your bathroom floor become loose. If you have vinyl flooring, then this may start curling up at the sides.
When you get a leak between floors this usually becomes obvious on the ceiling of the rooms below it. You may notice a damp patch start to appear or even get water dripping through the ceiling. Over time this patch will dry out and turn brown in colour.
If a leak goes untreated for a long time this causes moisture to build up around it. When this happens mould is a common side effect of the leak. Sometimes this is easier to spot than the leak itself.
However, sight isn't the only sense that can help you detect a leak.
You may notice a dripping sound coming from within your home. Locating exactly where this is coming from could help you to figure out the source of your problems. Or, if mould starts growing because of a leak, this will usually give off a damp smell.
Why Is It Important to Stop a Leaking Pipe?
Having a leak in your home can become a serious problem very quickly, so it is important to deal with it as soon as possible. There are several reasons for this.
Water leaking into your home can cause serious damage to the property around it. It can damage your walls and lead to mould or damp problems. If you have a major leak then you may find the water coming through your walls or ceiling and damaging furniture and other personal property.
Leaks that occur near to electrical sockets or appliances can also be very dangerous if they go undetected. If you are worried that your leak is affecting your electrical system then it's a good idea to get an expert in to help you. They will be able to do the job safely.
However, wet electrics aren't the only health risks that come with leaking pipes. If a sewage pipe leaks this can release toxic gases like hydrogen sulphide or methane into your home. Leaking drain water can also contaminate the water in and around your home with pathogens.
On top of all this, a leak in your home can also result in serious financial damage. You may have to have walls repainted or sealed over to stop damp from spreading. Or you may find that your personal property is damaged irreversibly by a bad leak.
You will also use a lot more water as your leak gets worse. This means that your water bills will start getting more and more expensive.
All in all, it's much better just to deal with the problem as soon as possible. With that in mind, let's take a look at what you need to do if you realize that you have a leaking pipe.
Drying the Pipe Out
Before you can start repairing your pipe, you need to clear it of water and dry it out. If there is moisture in the leak repair then it is less likely to hold.
The minute that you realize you have a leak you should shut off the water valve to the pipe. This will stop water from flowing along the pipe, leaking out, and causing more damage.
In order to remove any leftover water from the pipe turn on any taps or open any emergency outlets from it. If you have one, you can also use an air compressor to do this. Doing this is important as it ensures that you won't get soaked with water when you come to repair the pipe.
Obviously, you will need to get access to the pipe itself in order to repair it. When you do this, make sure that you dry the outside of the pipe as well and the area around it. If water has been leaking out of it then the pipe itself will probably be damp.
Getting rid of excess moisture and condensation around the pipe will ensure that it remains dry. To do this you will need to let the pipe and the surrounding area air dry before attempting a repair.
Once you have done this you are ready to start repairing your leak!
Temporarily Sealing Your Leak
When it comes to repairing your pipe, you obviously want a job that is going to stand the test of time. However, knowing how to temporarily seal your leak can also be very useful.
Sealing a leak permanently is a much bigger job that requires specific equipment that you may have to order in. This can be a hassle if the pipe in question is one that you use on a regular basis. In that case, carrying out a temporary repair on your pipe means you will be able to safely use it until you can repair it permanently.
The main thing you will need is epoxy. This is a type of resin that will work as a sealant on your pipe and stopper the leak on a temporary basis.
You need to apply the epoxy to the outside of the pipe to cover the leak. It is easiest to do this using a putty knife.
Make sure that you are generous with the epoxy so that you cover plenty of the pipe's surface. This will ensure that you don't miss any tiny parts of the leak.
If you want to do a really professional job then you can also use a sharpened pencil to stopper the hole first. This is an old plumber's trick!
Simply sharpen up the nib of the pencil and put it into the hole in the pipe. Then carefully snap the end of the nib off so that the lead stays plugging the hole. Once you have done this, apply epoxy over the top.
This isn't an essential step but it can help to make your pipe even more secure while you hold out for a permanent repair.
Fixing a Leak Permanently
To fix a leak in your pipework permanently, you will have to carry out more extensive work. The easiest way to do this is to replace the damaged section of your pipe.
Before you turn your water off, make sure that you get a good look at the leak itself. Taking pictures of this can help you to locate the specific problem area. After this, make sure that you turn off the water and empty the pipes as described above.
Once you have located the position of the pipe, set about removing this section of pipework. It is important to leave a good margin on either side in case the leak has damaged the surrounding pipe. Ideally, you should remove 25 to 30 cm of pipe with the leak in the center but this may vary depending on the severity of your leak.
Before you remove the section of the pipe, make sure you have your replacement pipe at the ready. This should match the section of damaged pipe in length and should be made of the same material. You can get a replacement pipe at your local hardware store.
To cut the damaged pipe out you can either use a hacksaw or a pipe cutter.
Before putting the new piping in, make sure that you have polished the outside and inside of it using emery cloth and a fitting brush. You will also need to apply soldering flux onto each end of the piping in the places that you are going to solder it.
Finally, put the pipe in place and solder it into position. Let it cool naturally before testing it out.
Checking the Pipe
Whether you have carried out a permanent or a temporary repair, it is important to check your work thoroughly before leaving it. To do this, you will need to run water back through the pipe and look out for any leaks.
If you have soldered the pipe it is very important that you wait for the pipe to cool completely before you do this.
Switch the water valve back on so that water flows along the pipe. You should let the water sit in the pipe for a while first and then open up the faucets to see what happens when it flows. This will expose any unresolved leaks in your pipework.
If you have carried out a temporary repair, then make sure that you keep checking in on it at regular intervals until you can do a more thorough job. You can make this easier by leaving the pipe exposed. This will also act as a reminder of the job that needs finishing!
Get Help With Your Leaky Pipes, Courtice Today!
Having a leaking pipe in your home can cause extensive damage and may put your health at risk so the sooner you deal with it the better. Keep these tips in mind and you'll have no trouble fixing your leaky pipes.
To get help from a professional fixing leaky pipes Courtice, get in touch with one of our team today. We're here to help!